* Thanksgiving brunch was lovely with my parents: Christien's breakfast casserole was delicious, and Mom & Dad's contribution of an ambrosia fruit salad provided an entertaining story of Mom bringing heavy whipping cream to dress it and Dad bringing a ridiculously large bottle of rum.
* I picked up two crochet projects that i have had on hold and have been good at being engaged (too engaged?) with them.
* We had a pleasant time out and then home watching a movie with Christine's sister and brother in law.
* We have decorated for Yule with a tree and lights (that turned out to be incandescents -- i really should have clued into that in the store), the Moravian star we bought last year, solar powered lights on our large chicken sculpture Alice, and a few other touches.
* The HVAC guys confirmed, yes, mice under the house in the floor insulation, yes, a snake ate a good many of the them. They reconnected a loose duct (and then checked over the heat pump which does not need annual maintenance, we were assured. The reconnecton seemed to trap a mouse in the duct work, and an evening of rustling in the ductwork and everyone in the house staring at the ducts followed. Edward caught the mouse and brought it to my lap just after i fell asleep.
I'm responsible for two catch and release mouse traps under the house. I haven't crawled very far under to place them in the recommend area yet. The temptation to let Edward loose under there is large.
* Much of the garden is mulched or turned over with the intent to suppress the heavy coating of winter weeds. One fence post has been driven into the ground. I've a bucket of sedges, grasses, and violets to transplant.
* I had an after meeting visit with a friend and a lunch meeting with another Quaker friend.
* I went out to lunch with my folks on a very cold Wednesday, and then we went to the agricultural supply place. They were picking up the large gifts for my sister and I. For my sister, a generator, for me, a 500 gallon water tank.
* I picked up my nephew and niece and their two puppies and brought them over to play with Carrie. That went generally well. There were a few times we needed to let them chill as Carrie got her hackles raised by the girl puppy, Ashe, barking at her. It wasn't quite the adventure i had in mind, but it was a good way to spend time together.
* We cut down the apple and rose of Sharon that were just in front of the house. Now the sight line is clear when one arrives and it definitely feels better - open and less crowded. One stump of the many trunked tree remains with my rain gauge mounted on it. (I wonder how much of the tree was the original grafted fruit and how much was sprouting from the root stock). The hole under the tree -- the main reason it seemed time to remove the tree -- is clear now: i ponder whether i should plant something in it or just try to fill it. I've a bit more chipping to do of the branches.
I've saved the long straight water sprouts -- fast, upward growing shoots that are triggered when the tree thinks it needs a new trunk. There were many because of how the tree was butchered in a pruning attempt. I'll use them as stakes in the garden in hopes that they root like the rose of sharon did this year, in hopes of planting them in or at the edge of the woods. It would be lovely if they could live on. The remainder of the younger growth i'm chipping as mulch for the garden. I think it should decay pretty quickly. The trunk will be offered to our wood turning friend. The wood clearly has spalting of some sort, so i suspect it will be interesting to work with.
* I cleaned out my Anki decks -- digital flash cards for memorizing things. I will want to work on some tourist level Estonian and Swedish. I don't dream of learning more than tourist level Estonian prhases, given it's not Indo-European. Wikipedia notes, "nouns and adjectives decline in fourteen cases: nominative, genitive, partitive, illative, inessive, elative, allative, adessive, ablative, translative, terminative, essive, abessive, and comitative...." Just enough courtesy phrases to find someone who can speak English seems reasonable. Swedish would be more useful in the longer term, but to learn two languages...? Again, more courtesy phrases, i think.
Of course, i didn't do add any language cards but instead added terms for identifying insects with the goal of learning how to identify pests and beneficial insects in the garden. I did see a Chinese mantis out there and left it alone. This morning, i have a tinge of regret as i think of the tiny little cricket frogs i've seen in the garden this week (mosquito predators!). Such a frog would be a quick meal for the massive Chinese mantis.
I'm sure there were more interesting events in the days from Thanksgiving through Friday but that gets the highlights.